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sworthen

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    http://onepeppercorn.com
  1. Today's specials - at least at lunch - were thinly slice octopus (starter); turbot (main); and (forget the actual description) a baked chocolate pudding with malt ice cream. Very pleasant space, lovely light, but hard to appreciate the views when the blinds are sensible drawn. (South-facing, midday light). Service was friendly and we had some good conversations with the waitstaff. The foie gras was sumptuous, and I quite liked the fricassee of mushrooms and snails with bone marrow. The snails were more texture than taste, but the rest of it worked nicely together. The pig's trotter wasn't quite as rich as I was expecting, oddly, after all I'd read here, but it had nice variety, especially of textures. The crackling was the prettiest I have ever seen. The duck was good, the vegetables and its sauce were even better with lovely infused herbs and spices. The desserts were our one disappointment; first bites of pistachio soufflé and the chocolate special were good, but they quickly became very samey and, sadly, boring for us. The petit fours were superb, varied and lively.
  2. For those of you wishing to know what the regular menu options are (spellings and all): Starters Pan Fried Foie Gras with a Potato Galatte and Sauternes Jus Cocktail of Scottish Lobster and Avocado with a Lemon Jelly Pressed Leeks and Langoustines with a truffle Vinaigrette Hand Dived Scallops with Squid Ink Fricasse of Wild Mushrooms and Snails with Bone Marrow Game Pithivier with a Jus Corsé Mains Pig's Trotter stuffed with Veal Sweetbreads and Morel Mushrooms Challan Duck Roasted with Herbs and Spices Royale de Lièvre with Buttered Tagliatelle Pavè of Wild Seabass with an Artichoke Barigoule Roast Cod with Cèpes English Roast Rose Veal Cutlet with Girolles and Roasting Juices Desserts Cheese Plate £5 supplement Pistachio Soufflé with Pistaschio Ice Cream Fresh Walnut Tart with Chestnut Honey Ice Cream Toscano Chocolate Mousse, Orange Compot and Muscovado Ice Cream Pain Perdue with Sweet Pineapple and Coconut Ice Cream Gascon Apple Pie Coffee or Tea with Petit Fours £4.95 I would never have thought to photograph the menu usually, but read this thread this morning before going, so had the prompting of the lack of menus to take away mentioned earlier in the thread.
  3. sworthen

    Taste London

    £69 for 2 premium tickets this year, i.e. entry + £20/apiece crownds/show money. It only saves about £10, but at least it's a smidgin better than full price. As for where I would go, generally I try to sample dishes from restaurants which I haven't sampled in previous years, and which I either know to be well-reviewed or, on the other extreme, places I've never heard of. Turnover among restaurants participating is slow enough that there are always plenty of places I don't need to try again, however much I liked their samples in past years or like the restaurant itself from going. Among that subset, it's up to dishes and what I feel up for. Last year, I went by myself and so concentrated on lots of light dishes, soups and salads, so I could eat more different things. This year, I had a group of people, so could try theirs as well as mine - so fewer, more substantial dishes to share.
  4. sworthen

    Taste London

    No, it's not fair, but neither are other less-controlled incidents which can affect my decision never to go back to a restaurant. (Such as finding a screw in my mashed potatoes at a restaurant beloved by a friend of mine.) The team aren't cooking under ideal circumstances, no, but they're still representing their restaurant. Indeed, if it's not one big advertisement for the restaurants participating, I'm not sure what Taste of London is meant to be. There are enough restaurants in this city that I'm willing to vet a small number of them on the basis of what they think is worth showcasing there. They do those magazines every year. The only thing it seems good for is trying to justify ticket price. ("Worth £10") Or if any of the included recipes were ones you happened to wish to have.
  5. sworthen

    Taste London

    I'm really fond of Taste of London. It's my fourth year going. I do pay for tickets, but always hold out for X pounds for Y people deals. There are so many restaurants in the city, it's a relatively inexpensive way to technically sample a large number of them: it's helped me decide on restaurants to go to and ones to avoid afterward. (Guidebooks and reviews, useful as they are, are no substitute for sample dishes!)
  6. sworthen

    Kitchen Renovation Prep

    IKEA has about as good a selection as any other kitchen design showroom. Indeed, they show a complete set of their own range, which is proportionally more than I can find elsewhere in a range of sinks right now. We've also looked at John Lewis, in addition to B+Q and IKEA. Also, the sinks which happened to be on display at the Miele Experience Showroom. In addition to IKEA's complete range, however, it would be lovely to have a chance to handle and compare all, or at least large numbers of, sink and tap ranges by, say, Franke, Blanco, etc. We're looking for stainless steel, as it happens, but it's the generic search of kitchen sink and tap showrooms which seems a gap in the market if they don't exist. Surely there's enough business for one to exist?
  7. sworthen

    Kitchen Renovation Prep

    We recently bought our first house, complete with a kitchen which we will be remodeling right away. The cabinets are due for manufacture in September, but we still have a lot to decide - and many kitchen aspects about which we keep changing our mind! (Size of stove and oven is the current one. We were originally thinking a 90 cm range cooker. Now we're thinking a 75 cm hob with 60 cm oven + warming drawer to allow for a little more cabinetry. The second oven would have been mostly for plate-warming anyways. Oh, how I wish I could justify an oven big enough for my American-sized baking trays though! We lived in the US and Canada before moving here. But storage space takes priority given the space we're working with.) Anyways, my first question is this: Is there anywhere in the UK (ideally in the Greater London Area) to go and look at lots of kitchen sinks? A kitchen sink and tap showroom of some sort? B+Q have them high on the walls so they're hard to see up close. Catalogues just aren't the same as knowing what they feel like. Kitchen display places have a random and limited selection of whatever happens to be installed.
  8. A useful thread! We'll have this problem in the near future. Moving into a house, don't already have a fridge, and we're redoing the whole thing. It might be as much as 12 weeks for us without a real kitchen. We're still trying to decide just how much equipment to buy to tide us over. At least it'll mostly be summer and thus grilling is an option.
  9. Yes, last week. It's my local currently. But I was just there for the bar snacks, which don't require advanced reservations. (Thank goodness they brought back the good bar snacks menu at some point. I stopped going over winter when it was all fish or seafood*, plus a scotch egg as options.) They're actually rotating soups of the day now rather than all tomato all the time (much as it was a mighty fine tomato soup.) The ploughman's was as good as ever, the sausage roll better than I remembered. The potato and leek was very smooth and well-balanced. The chips didn't quite live up to my memory of them, but they weren't bad. Actual restaurant food still requires reservations in advance and given how close it is, I rarely bother planning that far ahead for it. * I like fish and seafood, but my partner doesn't eat it, which puts a damper on going there together for a light meal when there's more-or-less nothing else available.
  10. sworthen

    Corner Cabinets

    I'd lose the tiles. Some are better than others, but ultimately a bunch of grout lines on the counter will be a bother. They're also very brittle and cracks will eventually show up in the grout and possibly the tiles.Based on the current countertops, I really don't think the current owners cook much. They could make do with small countertops, but not fiddly ones. We're currently thinking stone composite for its replacement. There are lots of ways to utilize that 2'x2'x3' dead space created by a counter corner. Why not simply slide a basket into the corner full of stuff you rarely use? You could save hundreds or even thousands on "magic" hardware. Spend it on groceries.What a wonderfully practical solution! Now that you suggest it, it's seems so obvious, in addition to robust, elegant, and practical. Unless I'm convinced that some other solution is better, or that Le Mans units blatantly won't last (which is part of why I asked in the first place for personal experience with them - hopefully someone here is using them), I'm currently thinking one Le Mans unit and (thanks to your suggestion) one blind corner with baskets. Will do!
  11. sworthen

    Corner Cabinets

    The third wall - the narrow one - is where all the plumbing is right now. It also has a lovely picture window. There are two large windows in this small kitchen, so very little room for wall cabinets. This is part of why we'd like to use the corners, even though corners are hard to use. It doesn't back on to another room - just the outdoors (a patio) on two sides, and a party wall on the other. (The fourth is a door to the main room, a small radiator, and space for the door on the side wall to the patio to open, so rather unusable for kitchen stuff.) Edited to add: If we gave up one corner unit, then there would be no countertop space to the left of the stove. If we gave up the other, it would result in giving up countertop right where we're most likely to be able to add sockets for small appliances. One of our big goals with the renovation is to maximize worktop space. The corner units help with that, even if we may end up with hard-to-use space as a result. Still, if they can possibly be made usable, that would be ideal.
  12. sworthen

    Corner Cabinets

    Thanks. What kind of lazy Susan did you have? 180, 270, or 360 degrees? Wooden or wire? I've been wondering about Magic Corners. They look like efficient use of space, but there are so many movable parts to them, I wonder how robust they are in the long run.
  13. sworthen

    Corner Cabinets

    I'm looking for advice and experience with kitchen corner units. I'm particularly interested in any personal experiences in using Le Mans/cantilevered carousels in corner units, but any other options - lazy susans, pull-out chains of baskets - would be useful too. I really don't want to end up with blind corner units in which we never use the back of the cabinets. Background: We're about to buy our first house and are busy redesigning the kitchen so that we can get started on remodeling it as soon as possible after moving in. It won't be a big kitchen, but we can make it a lot bigger and more usable than it is by making it into a galley kitchen. (Also, gas instead of electric stove, and a more suitable countertop surface than lots of small tiles whose grouting isn't level with their tops. It looks a pain to clean.) This will mean that we'll have 2 corner units of some sort or other. One could be an L-shaped cabinet, but if it did, it would have half the sink in it, with the rest of the sink cutting across another cabinet. Or we'd have to have a corner sink over one of them. We could do 2 blind corner units, with or without pull out or rotating units. But whatever we do, I'd like to maximize useful space in it.
  14. sworthen

    Splendido

    I last ate there two months ago. It was one of the best meals I've ever eaten.
  15. sworthen

    Taste of London

    This was my second year at Taste of London. Both times the entry price was worth it as an opportunity to sample tasters from lots of restaurants we hadn't been to. As a voluntary experience of being advertised at, it's quite a good one. I recommend buying the premium tickets, as you save a little money on the crowns that way. This time we were a group of three and since we all sampled each others' food, it meant between us we could try even more restaurants. Between us we sampled dishes from Cinnamon Club, Le Gavroche, Benares, Rhodes 24, Fifteen (longest queue), Café Spice Namaste, Boxwood Café, Tom Aikins, AWT, and Kensington Place. My favorites: nicely essense-of-tomato white tomato soup from Rhodes 24; amaretti and black cherry Eton mess from Fifteen; gorgeous sticky-sweet beef with extremely smooth mash and parsnip purée from Tom Aikins. The other dishes were generally good too - only one slight disappointment among them all.
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